“[The Io T] encompasses so many different
businesses and technologies that we currently
think of as relatively discrete. We’re asking
these technologies to start interacting with
one another in ways that people probably
didn’t envision 10 years ago.”
—Mary Lynne Nielsen, IEEE, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA
“Industrial equipment tends to be long-lived. I’ve
seen transformers recently that were installed in
the 1970s—it’s not like the six-month cycle for cell-phones,” Mr. Stone says. “That’s why it’s crucial to
set canonical standards that will enable long-term
interoperability. This is not a winner-take-all market. We believe there will be many players, which
means it’s important to facilitate an open system.”
Practitioners in the Io T Era
Mr. Stone predicts that the role of project and
program managers will be enhanced as the IoT
grows because their decisions will increasingly be
based on an abundance of real-time data. As more
manufacturing processes are automated, “We’ll be
able to place machine intelligence where it belongs
and human intelligence where it belongs,” he says.
Moreover, project managers will be crucial as
the Io T era emerges because they have the skills to
handle challenges stemming from the promise of a
fully interoperable Io T and the realities of existing
incompatible systems, Ms. Nielsen says.
“It’s the job of the project manager to preserve as
much of the vision as possible, but to do so while
addressing the realities and reminding the client or
customer of those realities,” she says.
Project managers working on pioneering Io T initiatives are helping to usher in a new economic era.
As with anything transformational, the Io T presents
challenges—especially to anyone accustomed to old
methodologies. It also offers enormous possibilities
to anyone wanting to leverage data to work more
effectively. And if anyone understands the power of
measurement, it’s a project manager.
offshore oil and gas operations minimize downtime
to power-plant systems that regulate and optimize
performance based on instant analysis of grid conditions and power demands.
Part of GE’s portfolio investment includes hiring a
fleet of Io T-focused software engineers. One of them
is Mr. Stone, who was hired away from software giant
SAP in February. Since then he has learned that the
upgrade cycle for industrial machinery is different
from that of a software product.